By Lucy Campbell

“You’ve killed God!”  exclaims the earnest Thomas Huxley to an ill and burdened Charles Darwin as he enthuses of Darwin’s as-yet-unfinished ‘Origin of the Species.’  Thus begins the first real biopic of Charles Darwin, cleverly crafted in the hands of director Jon Amiel and actor Paul Bettany. Beautifully shot and recreated,

Creation speeds back and forth through time as Darwin comes to grips with the death of his daughter Annie, whilst at the same time struggling to finish his revolutionary theories.  With quite a brilliant performance from Bettany, he’s well-supported by Jennifer Connolly as his deeply religious wife and Martha West as the precocious dead daughter Annie. But anyone hoping for an insight into Darwin’s theories, or how those twenty years were spent slowly deconstructing the Christian world’s entire existence will be disappointed.

This is not a film about Darwin’s theories, but about his personal life and his inner struggle between religion and truth. The few scenes of Darwin actually working seem sketchy to say the least: snippets of Darwin jotting down in a notebook, a seemingly brief encounter with a chimp and a bit of unexplained peering into a microscope. The film tends to sag a little in the middle under the considerable weight of Darwin’s family and personal life, and  at its weakest when overly emotional, but through it all still keeps its course and satisfies us. Above all, Creation is a film of the power of individual thought, the repercussions of which we still feel today, and the unshakeable human desire for truth and understanding.